OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Contributions of Oral Traditions from the Pacific Northwest to the Cascadia Subduction Zone in Alignment with Geoscientific Knowledge

TitleContributions of Oral Traditions from the Pacific Northwest to the Cascadia Subduction Zone in Alignment with Geoscientific Knowledge
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsNovak, Rachael M.
Academic DepartmentEnvironmental Science
Thesis AdvisorKingston, Deanna
DegreeBachelor of Arts in International Studies in Environmental Science
Number of Pages59
Date Published03/2003
UniversityOregon State University
CityCorvallis
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordsoral tradition, Pacific Northwest, subduction
Abstract

Oral tradition and science are two distinct sources of evidence from which to understand the earth and the place of humans upon it. Each stems from independent epistemologies which are social constructs, though in dominant society, they are not granted equal treatment. Where scientifically generated evidence is assured attention, evidence from oral tradition goes unrecognized and underutilized. Oral tradition has substantial potential for augmenting the understanding of earth processes, but to date it has been little explored. Through the alignment of oral tradition and science, rather than their incorporation which implies conformity of one to the other, the two unique sources can offer complimentary insights while maintaining the integrity of both.
The Pacific Northwest, which sits above the Cascadia subduction zone, is a region that serves as an example of this cooperation as the contributions of oral tradition have been both briefly noted and expounded upon in various scientific and anthropological studies. This work focuses upon two major contributions of oral traditions to the heightened comprehension of earth processes of the Cascadia subduction zone: the guidance of scientific research and the education of the Pacific Northwest residents.